Thiruvananthapuram: In an unprecedented move, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has asked all nine Vice Chancellors of state varsities to resign from their respective posts.
Noting the action was following the Supreme Court ordering the resignation of the Kerala Technical University’s Vice Chancellor, he directed the Vice Chancellors of the Calicut, Sanskrit, KTU, CUSAT, Fisheries, Malayalam, MG, Kannur, and Medical University to put in their papers before 11.30 am on Monday.
The Governor’s office said that five of the Vice Chancellors were asked to go as they were selected without panel names during the selection of Vice Chancellor and thus “selected politically”. The remaining four was selected through a process wherein eminent subject experts were not present in the selection committee, it added.
Reacting to the order, CPI-M state Secretary M.V. Govindan told media persons in Alappuzha that the party and the government would oppose the Governor’s move which was anti-constitutional.
He said that the BJP and the RSS, which are not able to come to power directly, are trying backroom manoeuvrings to take hold of power in the state.
“This is a mad decision by the Governor and we will take all the recourses including legal options against this,” Govindan said.
Sources in the government told IANS that the state Higher Education Department is holding a meeting to decide on the future course of action. Officials in the department said that the government is likely to direct the Vice Chancellors not to respond to the Governor’s directive.
Muslim League leader and former state Education Minister E.T. Mohammed Basheer told media persons that the decision of the Governor was wrong. He said that the Governor does not have such discretionary powers.
CPI-M Politburo member M.A. Baby, who is also a former state Education Minister, told media persons that the Kerala Governor was functioning like a Central government employee.